Robertson: "Making chances and creating goals is a big part of how we play"
Liverpool's Andy Robertson got his first assist of the season on Saturday and continues his friendly rivalry with fellow full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool’s usually unflappable defence got off to a shaky start in their first Premier League fixture last weekend. The champions began their title defence with a win but conceded three against newly-promoted Leeds United. Last season, they did not concede three times in a Premier League game until February, and did not do so at Anfield until their penultimate game against Chelsea.
However, after the game Jürgen Klopp seemed unconcerned by the lapses of concentration, although did admit there was “space for improvement” in the Reds' performance. Attacking full-backs have been a cornerstone of Liverpool’s success in recent seasons and Leeds managed to exploit the space behind their advanced backline.
Robertson, TAA out to rack up assists once more
Last year, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were the most creative defenders in the league with 12 and 13 assists respectively, behind only PFA Player of the Year Kevin de Bruyne. Alexander-Arnold broke his own record for most assists in a season from a defender and racked up one more than Robertson for a second consecutive season.
The two full-backs are good friends and their assist tallies are a matter of friendly competition between the pair, with Robertson registering his first of the season against Leeds. Speaking in the matchday programme, the Scotland captain said: "It’s a long, long season so we’ll see how it plays out this time… If I’m anywhere close to him this season then I think we’ll have both had a successful season because I can’t see him not assisting with goals and long may that continue.
“We like to create chances and hopefully that continues this season because us making chances and creating goals is a big part of how we play and we get a lot of joy from it. So long that may continue, but time will tell.”
Another feature of the Reds’ defence in recent years has been the goals of Virgil van Dijk, who has been the Premier League’s highest-scoring defender since moving to Anfield in 2018. The Dutchman scored his 13th for the club on Saturday but was at fault for Leeds’ second goal after carelessly nudging the ball into the path of Leeds’ Patrick Bamford.
Klopp: "It is not like riding a bike, you can lose something in pre-season"
However, Klopp was happy to write that off as a case of early-season rustiness and backed his side to improve in the coming weeks: “It is pretty rare you see that many goals in a game, we have left space for improvement in our defending but that is not unusual for a first game. Our players have played a few days ago for their countries so it is possible.
“It is not like riding a bike, you can lose something in pre-season and it takes time to all come together again.”